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Old 11-01-2007, 06:06 PM   #1
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K/M Resorts

Did a search and couldn't pull up anything about this particular Membership campground. The general consences on membership campgrounds was pretty much in line with my prejudice that they're usually a scam to separate you from your money. But, I thought I'd see if people had any opinions about K/M or any of their member resorts. At this point they're all in Washington State with a new "opportunity" to buy a lot in Desert Springs.

www.kmresorts.com

Right now there's a listing on Craigslist to buy a membership for ~1/3 of what they supposedly are offered at through the campground. That should tell you something about the "investment"

-Bernie
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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Nuthin'

Short answer - it's usually a good investment IF you camp there a LOT!
Check the reputation of the campsite carefully. Find out how many other camps around the country you can also use at heavily discounted rates.

I spend most of my time at a membership campground that was started in the late 60's or early 70's. Originally memberships were sold for upwards of $16K, but (as is apparently rather common) people who wanted to resell 2 to 5 years later had to let the membership go for a fraction of it's original price.

My particular campground almost went bankrupt as members simply stopped paying their annual maintenance dues because they aged out, moved away, divorced or died.

When I inquired there must have been 100 people who had surrendered their titles rather than continue paying dues, or who were willing to give away their memberships to people like me who would simply take over the dues. In the last three years a lot of people have snapped up those abandoned memberships. Now the campground is recovering it's amenities and reputation because more people are paying annual dues. Your question, "will it ever be an investment for the original owners?" NO, or at least only if they really USED the membership and spent many weeks or months on site, or used their membership to get cheap sites at other "Five Star Resorts". If those members compare the cost of staying at a KOA or Holiday Trav-l Park for a whole summer and compare it to camping at a members campground, the members campground will save a ton of money over the long term. If you're like my dentist's hygienist who uses her membership only two weeks a year, it is a pure waste.

Paula
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:00 PM   #3
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Well, how much I'd use it depends a lot on the rules, regulations and fees. All of which seem to be a bit cloudy; along with want (if anything) the membership(s) are worth. I already know that we don't take the trailer out enough to make use of the affiliated campground offer. As near as I can tell that adds ~$200 to the annual dues and that would more than cover my camping expenses at State campgrounds or KOAs. There are of course many "levels" of membership. A common "scam" is for the resort to tell you you've "won" such and so membership for "free". All you have to do is "pay" the set-up fee and annual dues. But, when you go to claim the "free" membership they try to upsell you to a different level. All the different levels have different dues and fee structures. The most insidious is the membership where you have to sell (entrap) someone else or you have to keep paying dues. Of course they can never actually collect on this but they can and apparently do make life hell. As bad as all this sounds there are people who have memberships that use them and enjoy it. The campgrounds apparently are pretty nice and they seem to be financially solvent and adding new properties at the rate of 1 every 2-3 years. I guess if they were just a little more forthright in the marketing I'd be more tempted. It seems to be simlar to gym memberships where a large number of people pay dues that never use it; and that seems to be the business model! For example I belong to the local YMCA which I use and find a great deal. But I know a lot of people that have belonged for years and never go. At least the Y is straight forward in what you get for your money. However that seems to be the exception rather than the rule in the gym buisness.
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:17 PM   #4
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I could be wrong, but I think it is an idea that is on the rebound. As more baby boomers and younger generations come into the camping fold they are looking for good deals on upscale camping accomodations...that's why Airstreams are such hot sellers for the past few years and seem to continue to sell well...that's also why I think we see so many "glamping" enterprises springing up around the country/world.

My concern is that some of the member resorts will be nice and well maintained, but many will not. For example, there is a "membership" camping resort near Atlanta that cost $5,000 to buy into. A friend had a nebulous arrangement to keep his Airstream on one of the sites one summer and pay the monthly site rental. The resort was open from April-October and from what he described it was little more than a low budget private camp ground. As described I would have been disappointed to have stopped in for a night while passing through on my way to a destination much less making it my destination. In a word, rustic.

On the other hand I have seen advertisements for membership resorts that are limited to motor homes only (Prevosts, Monacos, etc.) and are quite expensive to buy into and I have seen some member resorts advertised in central Florida that look quite nice and that I wouldn't mind belonging to if I could feel confident that a member resort in Texas or Arizona or Idaho would be equally nice. But I would be rather PO'ed to arrive in one of those states and find what my friend described.
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
I could be wrong, but I think it is an idea that is on the rebound. As more baby boomers and younger generations come into the camping fold they are looking for good deals on upscale camping accomodations...that's why Airstreams are such hot sellers for the past few years and seem to continue to sell well...that's also why I think we see so many "glamping" enterprises springing up around the country/world.

My concern is that some of the member resorts will be nice and well maintained, but many will not. For example, there is a "membership" camping resort near Atlanta that cost $5,000 to buy into. A friend had a nebulous arrangement to keep his Airstream on one of the sites one summer and pay the monthly site rental. The resort was open from April-October and from what he described it was little more than a low budget private camp ground. As described I would have been disappointed to have stopped in for a night while passing through on my way to a destination much less making it my destination. In a word, rustic.

On the other hand I have seen advertisements for membership resorts that are limited to motor homes only (Prevosts, Monacos, etc.) and are quite expensive to buy into and I have seen some member resorts advertised in central Florida that look quite nice and that I wouldn't mind belonging to if I could feel confident that a member resort in Texas or Arizona or Idaho would be equally nice. But I would be rather PO'ed to arrive in one of those states and find what my friend described.
MM et al,

Most of the 'resorts' that are advertising for the RV dollar here in FL are ownership parks, rather than 'membership' parks. The difference being that in an ownership park, you buy a site that is deeded to you and the park operates like a condominium with monthly fees, rules.....the dreaded 'condo Nazis' who enforce the rules, etc. They are just like buying a brick and mortar condo but you move your 'house' off and on at your pleasure.

I lived in one of these places for 5 years and yes, there were lots of Prevosts, Newells and other high-end motor homes....ONLY. Class 'A' restricted.

Now I work at these types of resorts. I guess it works for some people .
But $250,000 for the lot and $300+ a month in 'maintenance' is not my idea of a good time!
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:26 PM   #6
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Well, I certainly wouldn't go the $250K plus $300/month for a camp site. Add the $1.2 million for the Prevost and you have a pretty nice Florida vacation home, albeit non-mobile. I think I'll keep looking at options for that non-rustic camp experience.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:09 PM   #7
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More power to them.

I imagine that some of the older folks have led very conservative lives.
Some have accumulated significant wealth, and can afford some toys,
with considerable funds to spare. RVing is a good way to find adventure and
freedom. Maybe experience a different life style, new places, new people.
I would like to be at a campground in Florida for the winter, but I can't. I have to stay home so I can shovel snow, and wait for winter to pass so I can start mowing. Did I mention leaves? Gutters? Painting?
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:29 PM   #8
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Well, there's another KM Resorts membership up for sale (or possibly the same one) and this time it's only $500 + $50 transfer fee and it lists yearly dues at $350. That means I'd have to stay at one of their campground 10-15 times just to break even on the yearly dues. While they do have some nice places to stay I don't see my schedule allowing me to take advantage of it. For someone that spends a significant amount of time camping (like maybe six weeks a year or more) then it's probably a great deal.

I've been looking at the ownership campgrounds. That has a lot of appeal since it wouldn't be just a place to camp but semi-permanent RV storage. That would justify the expense. There's several places in WA that would be attractive IF they were in the right location which for me would be central Washington off the I-90 cooridoor (Cle Elm).

An interesting twist on this which appeared in the local paper recently is that of water rights. Since camping and vacation property in general seems to gravitate to dry regions that have previously been sparsely populated development is putting significant demands on the scarce water resources of these areas.

-Bernie
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:41 AM   #9
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Thumbs up Salt Springs Villlge

I have live, for the last 6 years, in a land lease 55+ moble home park in the Ocala National Forest. The park is located in Lake Kerr, across the road from Salt Springs which runs into the St Johns River. The park features big lots with lots of trees. I really can't imagine a better situation. Check out the web site at Welcome to Salt Springs Village

Here, you own your home and the lease rates average is around $350/month. RV storage is included in the rent along with several other aminities. There are some homes avalible that have RV ports with hookups attached to the unit.

Also in the same area is a RV owner coop. It's our main source of buyers. These coops have a very high population density with lots of "big wheel" contraptions propelled by high energy 5 year olds - etc - etc -etc.

If you think you might have an interest in the village, PM me for more information.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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We belong to a private campgrund network and are satisfied. Not anything near as expensive the the one mentioned above. Two of the many sites are located within 200 miles of our house which allows us to use them many times during the year. We go to them at least once a month for 3 night stays and thats because my wife still works. We could stay 12 days and move right into another member location for another 12 days.

We like it because of the rustic setting, great security with gated entrance, and we get to know a lot of the regulars.

I would never recommend that someone go an join unless they were going to use it. That is the "key", you have to use it to get your monies worth.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:51 PM   #11
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KM in Washington is a good match for a small subset of persons, with children. I tried it, found the membership a total loss of $4000; sales pressure full of exaggerations, and....camping in Washington year round is so unlikely, except for the very hardy! The campgrounds I tried were too closely spaced, kinda dismal. The photos, naturally, make them seem much better than they are. Maybe OK as an associated RV park with a different membership, but "resort"? Not in my book. Buyer beware, sadly I fell for it!
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:23 PM   #12
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K&M Resorts

I have belonged to K&M since 1998. It has worked out for us because we didn't pay that much for it in those days and the dues were much lower ($280). we use them a lot because one of their campgrounds is very near my son's house across the state from us. I keep a log and my investment has probably cost me about the same as staying in private resorts like KOA but we use it a lot.

I would probably never purchase one again. I think they are a poor investment unless you live aboard, can move every two weeks and be content staying in K&M's 8 resorts.

Lou
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